26 February 2013

E-Waste is Building Up

Photo Credit: www.freedigitalphotos.net
Apple comes out with a new model of their iPods nearly every year. But what happens to all the outdated ones? What about computers, cell phones, televisions and stereos? Over 70% are thrown away! Our purchases of electronics are dramatically increasing over time. Electronic waste, aka e-waste has become a growing problem.

E-waste takes a very long time to biodegrade but it is more than a nuisance. It’s toxic and can leach heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and mercury. There are even companies that claim to be recycling but instead ship the e-waste to other countries.

What can be done?

  • Limit the amount of electronics and wait to upgrade. I know that is easier said than done but you can handle the iPhone 4 a little longer.
  • Buy used and refurbished when available.
  • Think before you toss!

Consumers need to become more educated. We all know to carefully dispose of certain light bulbs and medications but what about an old cell phone? Those contain beryllium, a toxic heavy metal. I think companies should take their products back and reuse them to make new ones. They would know how to properly take the products apart!

What about computers and phones with personal information?

If you can’t remove it yourself then you can find a company that will. Actually most computers now-a-days are very hard to clear out completely. E-Waste Harvesters has a hard drive destruction service. They will remove all personal data from hard to reach places, destroy the hard drive and then recycle it. So, don’t let the fear of passing on personal information scare you into not recycling.

TV recycling Phoenix

Televisions can be hard and inconvenient to recycle. I know it’s tempting to just throw them on the curb or drop them off at a dump. You may be able to schedule a recycling pick up.